Skip Navigation

Direct Exchange Programs - Bilkent University

bilkent univBilkent University was founded in 1984 as Turkey’s first private, non-profit institution of higher education. Bilkent’s large, modern, residential campus is situated within Turkey’s young and vibrant capital city, Ankara. The use of English as a medium of instruction contributes a great deal towards the University’s truly international perspective. With world-renowned scholars among its faculty and top-notch facilities throughout its campus, Bilkent attracts many of Turkey’s brightest high school graduates and many international students. The university has 13,000 students seeking degrees in 32 bachelor’s, and 47 graduate programs in a variety of fields. Watch the Bilkent video


Once overseen by the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, Turkey straddles Europe and Asia. It is a republican parliamentary democracy. Istanbul is considered the financial, economic, and cultural heart of Turkey. The Turkish culture is a product of wanting to be modern but Western, while still feeling obligated to hold on to the traditional, religious, and historical beliefs. The cuisine is inherent to the Ottoman heritage that fused Arabic, Greek, Persian and Turkish, to a non homogenous kitchen that is varied throughout the country by region. Their music and literature are a mix of cultural influences. They consist of a blend of Central Asian Turkic, Islamic and European traditions in modern-day Turkish music ranging from “arabesque” to hip-hop genres. There is a variety of culture all throughout this country.


ankaraAnkara is a modern city with a population of over 5 million. The Romans and the Byzantines left their mark in the region. Besides the historical monuments within the heart of the city such as the Roman Theater, Ankara Citadel, Temple of Augustus, Roman Bath and the Column of Julian, the city’s environs are also rich with ancient ruins.

Ankara is a center for opera, ballet, jazz and modern dance as well as the home of the Turkish Parliament, ministries, foreign embassies and nine universities. Shopping in Ankara can be exciting in the old part of the town or in modern shopping malls. Ankara’s location makes it very convenient for weekend travel to skiing resorts, cultural and historical sites, and the seaside. İstanbul is only five hours away by bus.

Areas of Study

Language of instruction at Bilkent University is English.

Arabic, Archeology, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Economics, Engineering (Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical), English Literature, Fine Arts,  Foreign Languages, History, International Affairs, Landscape Architecture, Mathematics, New Media, Philosophy, Political Science,  Physics, Psychology, Turkish Language


Minimum overall GPA 2.75


Estimated budget for a semester at Bilkent University.


Fall semester: mid-September to early January

Fall 2014 – September 8, 2014 - January 10, 2015

Spring semester: late January to end of May

Spring 2015 – January 27 – May 28, 2015

For specific dates see the Academic Calendar.


Bilkent University has a strong program in Engineering and Liberal Arts. Course descriptions are available at Course Registration . Under “Offerings” you can view which courses are offered in the semester you would like to study abroad at Bilkent.

Full-time enrollment:

UMaine students must be registered for 12-15 credits each semester.

Transfer credits:

3 credits at Bilkent= 3 credits at UMaine

Grading Scale:

Bilkent University uses the same grading scale as UMaine.


Housing at Bilkent University offers 24 dormitories on campus.  Rooms are arranged for single, double, or 4-person occupancy.  Kitchens, laundry, and study rooms— all the usual basics­— are offered in modern, comfortable buildings.  Students can also rent an apartments off-campus once they arrive for orientation. Food is available in campus cafeterias and restaurants. Housing in a double room on campus is FREE for exchange students.

Helpful links

Student Voice

turkish foodBilkent is internationally ranked 201st in the world and 1st in Turkey. I loved my professors and classes. The professors were extremely knowledgeable and usually bilingual or trilingual. The campus is beautiful and offers everything on site- bus transportation to the city and East campus, several gyms, several restaurants, soccer fields, bookstores, computer labs etc. I opted to live off campus in Ankara which was fantastic and commuted by bus every day. Friends of mine say the campus housing was very clean and they enjoyed it.

Turkish food is the best. There were several great restaurants on campus but the best food is in the city or (if you travel) on the Mediterranean. Turks are some of the nicest people in the world. People would quite literally cross the street to talk to me and hear how I liked their country. I traveled a lot and tried to speak as much Turkish as I could. Turkey is cheap to travel. I felt very immersed in the culture.

~Kevin McCord, Business Administration

Print Friendly
Last Modified On June 5, 2014

Back to Direct Exchange Programs